Call for national day to remember all NZ Land Wars

updated By Maiki Sherman

As the country takes a break over the Easter holiday, a few Māori MPs are turning their thoughts to support another national holiday in remembrance of the NZ Land Wars.

A petition has been established calling for all land wars to be commemorated with a national day and the signatures have almost reached the level needed to present it to Parliament. 

Te Kāea political reporter Maiki Sherman asked whether it would receive support from some of the Māori MPs?     

This is a remembrance celebration for the battle at Ōrākau Pā, a battle which is now being advanced to Parliament with the aim of securing a national commemoration day.

Te Ururoa Flavell says, "The problem is finding a way in which we can do that. We have raised the issue with the PM but we haven't delved deeply into it but it is certainly something the Māori Party will raise in time. "

The desire is to establish a national day to commemorate all NZ land wars.

Ōtorohanga College is leading a petition which they hope to present to Parliament, almost a thousand signatures of support have been gathered. 

Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says, "My only concern is that if we focus our attention on a single day then other stories like the battle of Ruapekapeka may be forgotten. "

"Most New Zealanders want to learn more about Māori history," explains Pita Paraone.

In 2009, the Māori Party put forward a Bill seeking a national day for Matariki but it failed to gain support in the house.  The Minister of Māori Development says more recognition of important Māori days is needed.    

Flavell says, "In terms of significant events, such as Parihaka and Matariki, they need to feature more in our national calendar."

Henare says, "Most of all Pākehā in NZ these days are descendants of the soldiers which fought in the battles we are talking about so we should certainly discuss this idea further."

Once the petition reaches Parliament its fate will be decided.